Objectives: The aim of this study was to present the updated methodological guidelines for economic evaluations of healthcare interventions (drugs, medical devices, and other interventions) in Belgium.
Methods: The update of the guidelines was performed by three Belgian health economists following feedback from users of the former guidelines and personal experience. The updated guidelines were discussed with a multidisciplinary team consisting of other health economists, assessors of reimbursement request files, representatives of Belgian databases and representatives of the drugs and medical devices industry. The final document was validated by three external validators that were not involved in the previous discussions.
Results: The guidelines give methodological guidance for the following components of an economic evaluation: literature review, perspective of the evaluation, definition of the target population, choice of the comparator, analytic technique and study design, calculation of costs, valuation of outcomes, definition of the time horizon, modeling, handling uncertainty and discounting. We present a reference case that can be considered as the minimal requirement for Belgian economic evaluations of health interventions.
Conclusions: These guidelines will improve the methodological quality, transparency and uniformity of the economic evaluations performed in Belgium. The guidelines will also provide support to the researchers and assessors performing or evaluating economic evaluations.